Category: Featured

Book Review: The Passionate Economist: How Brian Abel-Smith Shaped Global Health and Social Welfare by Sally Sheard

In this book Sally Sheard looks at the life and achievements of former LSE professor Brian Abel-Smith, and at the development of health and social welfare systems since the 1950s. The Passionate Economist deserves to find its way on to many people’s shelves and reading lists: not just the historians of health and welfare, but anyone interested in questions of social justice and how academics, politicians […]

Impact Round-Up 12th April: Academese, #datadramas, and how not to think about the humanities.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. What would happen if you lost all of your research data? by Julia Giddings at Digital Science explores such a situation faced by Billy Hinchen when his laptop with four years worth of research data was stolen. Hear […]

University rankings wield immense influence over Higher Ed and society at large – with positive and perverse effects.

In a time of growing demand for and on higher education, university rankings have transformed university strategy. Ellen Hazelkorn finds their crude simplicity is what makes rankings so infectious. Yet, quality is a complex concept. Most of the indicators used are effectively measures of socio-economic advantage, and privilege the most resource-intensive institutions and-or countries. In response and reaction to the limited nature […]

Accelerating the revolution in political science publishing: shorter, faster, more transparent and freely available.

Editors of the recently launched journal Research and Politics, Catherine de Vries and Bernard Steunenberg, provide background on why publishing in political science requires a reboot. Time lags in conventional publishing and the limited accessibility of articles can undermine researchers’ attempts to maximise the impact of their work. It is time to add to the publishing repertoire tools and formats that are both available […]

Increasing involvement of private finance in Higher Ed will have lasting consequences for stability of the sector.

Changes in higher education policy are altering the way academic institutions are functioning in Britain. Andrew McGettigan takes a look at the implications of new funding mechanisms for higher education and writes that new methods of debt issuance will increase the financial fragility of academic institutions. Furthermore, due to the increase in students accessing loans, governments will soon be forced to find […]

Impact Round-Up 5th April: Open access mandates, academic freedom, and homo academicus.

Managing Editor Sierra Williams presents a round-up of popular stories from around the web on higher education, academic impact, and trends in scholarly communication. There has been plenty of news coming from HEFCE this week. The new policy for open access in the post-2014 Research Excellence Framework was announced (see Monday’s post by Alma Swan describing the new policy as a game-changer for the open […]

The right tool for the job: Five collaborative writing tools for academics.

Research collaboration now involves significant online communication. But sending files back and forth between collaborators creates redundancy of effort, causes unnecessary delays and, many times, leaves people frustrated with the whole idea of collaboration. Luckily, there are many web-based collaborative writing tools aimed at the general public or specifically at academic writers to help. Christof Schöch looks at the different tools out […]

Research assessment, altmetrics and tools for determining impact: Reading list for #HEFCEmetrics review launch.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, has announced that HEFCE are arranging an independent review of the role of metrics in research assessment and management. The Impact blog welcomes this review and will look to encourage wider discussion and debate on how research is currently assessed and how it could be in years to come. Over the last two […]